War of the Rebellion: Serial 017 Page 1110 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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Mr. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN: My defense is now concluded. Before, however, I deliver it in ot your hands, I hope to be indulged in some remarks more exclusively personal. To speak of one's self in terms of commendation is always unpleasant, and is generally against the law a of good taste; but there are occasions when it becomes unavoidable. The sensibility which it then wounds must submit to the infliction, because a higher sensibility demands the sacrifice. When a soldier's reputation is impeached, his loyalty assailed, and even his cowardice insinuated; when the safety of his country is said to have been purposely and causelessly hazarded by him in the indulgence of some low, petty, contemptible motive, it cannot be expected that he is to be restrained by the delicacy which belongs to the ordinary intercourse between gentleman. If his past life gives the lie to the charge; if it exhibits conduct totally inconsistent with its trough; if it speaks a nature that would revolt even at the thought of the crime; if it evinces a long and perilous course of duty, and an ardent, and every-enduring love of country; a constant zeal for the honor of its flag and an undying devotion to its service; if, in the present crisis of its history, from the first moment that unhallowed ambition started on its career of treason, he has given himself with sleepless vigilance, and amidst countless hazards, to do what he could to put down the foul rebellion nd reinstate the authority of the Government; if, until the unfortunate Virginia campaign of last summer, his services were approved by the public, by his brothers in arms, and signally acknowledged by the President - if these facts are true of myself, then I may be well excused for proudly invoking them as an answer to the false and groundless imputations upon my duty and honor as a citizen and a soldier. What, when, has been my history? First, I served, then being a mere youth, in the Mexican war, throughout the resplendent campaign of Lieutenant-General Scott, and was actively engaged in the several battles of Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Molino del Rey, Chapultepec, and the city of Mexico. I entered on that service as brevet second lieutenant, Fourth Regiment of Artillery, and was breveted as captain for distinguished service in the battle of Molino del Rey, and as major for like service in the battle at the city of Mexico. Second, in February, 1861, I was ordered by the then Secretary of War, Mr. Holt, your judge-advocate, to proceed to Texas for the purpose of withdrawing as many of the troops of the Unites States as I could from that State, and thereby counteracting, as far as possible, the effects of the then recent, unexampled, and base treachery of General Twiggs. Amidst great difficulties and much personal peril, I succeeded in rescuing seven companies, in all 500 men, and in re-enforcing Tortugas, Key West, with four companies, and bringing three to New York; the whole duty being performed do the perfect satisfaction of the Department. Third, in May, 1861, I was commissioned as colonel in the Regular Army, and in August a brigadier-general of volunteers, and afterward served throughout the Peninsula campaign, under Major-General McClellan. At the siege of Yorktown, he constituted me director of the siege. In the battle of Hanover Court-House, I commanded a corps, now the Fifth Corps of the Army of the Potomac. In the battle of Gaines' Mill, my command being about 27,000, I lost killed, wounded, and missing 9,000 men; a fact which tells the severity of the conflict. In the battle of Malvern Hill, a site selected by myself the day before for the fearful and test strugle with my own corps, and which was joined by the commands of Generals Sumner, Heintzelman, and Couch, each cheerfully engaging in the conflict and rendering every assistance possible, amounting in the